Butler-McCook House & Garden
For 189 years the Butler-McCook House & Garden was home to four generations of a family who participated in, witnessed, and recorded the evolution of Main Street between the American Revolution and the mid-twentieth century. The house’s exterior looks much as it did when it was built in 1782. Behind the property is a restored Victorian ornamental garden, originally laid out in 1865. Inside are the original furnishings ranging from Connecticut-crafted colonial furniture to Victorian-era toys and paintings to samurai armor acquired during a trip to Japan. The objects were accumulated over the course of almost two centuries by members of this extraordinary clan, which included physicians, industrialists, missionaries, artists, globetrotters and pioneering educators and social reformers.
The Main Street History Center’s keystone exhibition, “Witnesses on Main Street,” uses the Butler and McCook families’ words and experiences to chronicle their neighborhood’s transformation from a clutch of clapboard dwellings, taverns, and artisans shops into a modern urban enclave of multi-story steel, brick, and stone structures housing major financial, industrial, governmental, and cultural institutions.
Open for tours May through December on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 1 – 4 pm, for public programs, & by appointment. Private tours by appointment must be scheduled at least 7 days in advance by contacting 860.247.8996 x 11, or butler.mccook@ctlandmarks.
For school groups and special curriculum-based programming, to reserve tours for groups of 10 or more, or to rent the facility, please call the Amos Bull House at (860) 247-8996 x 11.
Students with ID, Seniors (65+), AAA members & Teachers: $10
Children age 6-18: $5
Hartford Residents, Children under 6 & CTL Members: Free
Family Price (2 adults & unlimited number of children): $25
The Butler-McCook House & Garden, the only 18th-century home still remaining on Hartford’s Main Street, is a time capsule of Hartford’s past and the history of one family. Rather than displaying this house at a single moment in its past, Connecticut Landmarks preserves the house with all the changes that took place over time.
After a self-guided tour of The Main Street History Center’s exhibition, Witnesses on Main Street, visitors are taken on a guided tour of the house that primarily focuses on the McCook family during the late19th century and their artistic and intellectual interests. Guests will learn about a family who loved music, art, and travel through explorations of the museum’s collections which include paintings, Japanese samurai armor, furniture, and toys.
Butler-McCook House & Garden
396 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
From I-91 North or South: Take Exit 29A, Capitol Area Exit. Take the second exit, Prospect Street. At end of exit ramp at light turn left onto Prospect St. Go straight through one additional light. The Butler-McCook House parking lot is located on the right behind a black iron gate.